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Serious Madness - Mad River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Serious MadnessSerious Madness

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

209 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 209
Reviews: 125
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.33%
Wants: 18
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mad River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  8.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: klewis on 02-26-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 209 | Reviews: 125 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spinrsx
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz Bottle from the Total Wine in Tampa FL for 3$

Appearance - Black/brown colour with a large size fizzy dark beige coloured head. It's too dark to make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes.

Smell - Malts, coffee, chocolate

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel and malts. There is also a light smokiness and some chocolate and some very light hops. It ends with a chocolate/coffee aftertaste and only a very faint hit off hops.

Overall – Can't find a date on this bottle.. but I have a hunch it is not at it's best. I can hardly taste any of the hop/grapefruit flavours I'd expect to find in a California Black Ale. Still a good RIS taste going on though.

spinrsx, Apr 22, 2013
Photo of JakeDebus
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

JakeDebus, Apr 15, 2013
Photo of horshack7
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: It's quite dark with a dark beige head around one finger thick.

Aroma: Hazelnut, dark fruits, espresso, vanilla bean, dark chocolate, roasted hops with some light citrus notes.

Taste: Large roasty notes notes in the front. Vanilla bean, chocolate malt, dark roasted hops that have a dry floralness. Espresso and dark coffee and a very smooth mouthfeel.

Notes: Drinkable all the way around the dry finish is a nice touch as well the hops being in the background of it all. Cheers.

horshack7, Apr 14, 2013
Photo of lemniscate
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

lemniscate, Apr 14, 2013
Photo of BB1313
3.3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black with brown hues. Kakhi head that fades and leaves decent lacing. The aromas are full of roasted chocolate malts. There's hints of smoke, oak, caramel and vanilla. There's a subtle anise/black licorice notes, but it definitely doesn't dominate. Not much of a hop aroma. Flavors are loaded with dark chocolate giving it a nice bitterness. Hop bitterness is there; hop flavor not so much. But I don't really think this is intended to be a "Black IPA". This truly is a black ale. It's more reminiscent of a stout or a porter, but not quite. Very roasty. Coffee notes are there as well. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin for a big beer and there's alot of carbonation. It doesn't exactly match with the flavors, imo, but still works. Alcohol is hidden.

Starts off interesting and then becomes redundant, but it's still pretty solid. This would be good for the winter or during the colder weather.

BB1313, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of tfsimpkins
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

tfsimpkins, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of TheSixthRing
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours near opaque black with a tan, finger width head. Good retention, leaving behind a nice layer of microbubbles that coats the surface. Lacing is thin and sheeting before clumping into spots on the glass.

Smell - Predominantly earth on the aroma. Chocolate mocha. Faint floral hops.

Taste - Strong roasted malt character upfront and throughout. Bitterness comes through as baker's chocolate and moderate anise character. Milk chocolate sweetness hits mid-taste before a nice, balanced finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body with moderate carbonation. Creamy at first, then turns a touch chalky and dry on the finish.

Overall - I wouldn't categorize this as an American Black Ale (or Black IPA, Cascadian Dark Ale, whathaveyou)... it drinks just like an Imperial Stout. In fact, I think it's been completely miscategorized here, and a perfect example of why I don't like that CDA's have been renamed American Black Ale. Black Ale is a generic term for any ale that's black in color, such as this. But it's nearly 75 IBU's you say? So what. Ten Fidy comes in at 98 IBUs. CDA is not only a more unique and less confusing term, but it also pays homage to that style's localized roots... but I digress. This is a solid all-around beer. Great balance. Wonderfully drinkable. Don't expect it to be a CDA, or 'ABA'. It's not.

TheSixthRing, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of artoolemomo
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

artoolemomo, Apr 01, 2013
Photo of snohojimbo
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

snohojimbo, Mar 26, 2013
Photo of rabiddawg
4/5  rDev +0.8%

rabiddawg, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of durlta
4/5  rDev +0.8%

durlta, Feb 27, 2013
Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Boone757, Feb 23, 2013
Photo of Vancoubeer
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Vancoubeer, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of jsteele
3.25/5  rDev -18.1%

jsteele, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of DukeX13
4/5  rDev +0.8%

DukeX13, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of tdm168
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - black with a big, thick, brown head that has great retention; some sediment floating in the dark liquid

S - very faint nose; some chocolate

T - chocolate, roasted malts, black licorice, dark fruit, faint citrus, mildly bitter

M - medium bodied, well carbonated

This was a decent beer. It wasn't as hoppy as I was hoping, but the rich, complex maltiness was enough to keep me intrigued. The hops seem to get buried revealing only a slight citrusy undertone. Something a bit more bitter may have had a better chance against the depth of the malt. All in all, I did enjoy this beer, and I would recommend it to any fan of the style.

tdm168, Feb 06, 2013
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

DrunkinYogi, Feb 03, 2013
Photo of Greywulfken
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: center-pour into a nonic pint: opaque black body, dense head of rich tan foam, ample lacing

S: roasted bittersweet dark malts

T: flashes of anise over sweet malt, roasted bittersweet chocolate, espresso coffee; earthy and herbal undercurrents

M: thick, chewy, bittering, crisp on the finish

O: I found this to be a very enjoyable beer, approaching a stout in character and an Imperial in strength.

Greywulfken, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of jucifer1818
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

jucifer1818, Nov 30, 2012
Photo of SamW
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

SamW, Nov 27, 2012
Photo of Btr73
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Btr73, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of csmartin6
4/5  rDev +0.8%

csmartin6, Nov 02, 2012
Photo of NoLeafClover44
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. I can't find a bottling date, but the dust on the bottle neck tells me it wasn't bottled yesterday.

A - The black body is speckled with tiny cocoa colored floaters. A long-lasting finger of almond head sits on top. Good lacing.

S - Smells of rich chocolate, roasted malts, and marshmallow. Subtle and comforting aroma with little to no hops. Smells like a chocolate stout. The hops have faded from the nose if there ever were any. Nonetheless, it smells delicious.

T - Much more bitter than I would have expected from the aroma. Chocolate malts dance with bitter pine on the forefront. Some char on the back end with a lingering alcohol bite.

M - Nearly flat with a medium body.

O - I love this style and I rarely pass up an imperial black ale that I have not yet tried. This one was a bit disappointing. The aroma was very good, and the flavor decent, but the lack of carbonation ruined it for me. Without bottle dating, I won't grab this one again.

NoLeafClover44, Oct 27, 2012
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

t0rin0, Oct 23, 2012
Photo of aquatonex
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black with a small head that dissipates leaving a brown ring around the beer as well as a lacing, a single sheet of tiny bubbles. Smells like hot chocolate without the hot, chocolately, earthy, and slightly sweet. Taste is not as good as it smells, but still it good. Malts are dominant, thin chocolate flavor then changes to bitter and solid alcohol notes. The flavor starts off rich but thins out and leaves you wanting a bit more. Overall, a nice smelling decent tasting beer for the ABV.

aquatonex, Oct 18, 2012
Serious Madness from Mad River Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 209 ratings.